various artists,
Tribute to Fleetwood Mac:
The Blues Years

(Blue Flame, 2002)

I'm not a blues fan. But the music of Fleetwood Mac (as well as the solo work by Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, Mick Fleetwood and Lindsay Buckingham) provides much of the background music to my high school memories (1977-81), so my curiosity was sparked by this tribute album to their "blues years" -- a period, frankly, I hadn't realized existed. Honestly, I'm glad I missed it.

While some Fleetwood Mac followers may receive this disc with a fond embrace, I find that I strongly prefer the Mac music of "The Pop Years." I've also discovered that I much prefer Mac tunes performed by Fleetwood Mac to any of the bands giving tribute. Although I didn't like it, Tribute to Fleetwood Mac: The Blues Years features a broad range of talented blues bands and does merit a listen-if you're a blues fan, which I'm not.

I didn't recognize one single Mac song in the compilation, which includes: "My Heart Beat Like a Hammer," "She's Real," "Show Biz Blues," "Lazy Poker," "I Loved Another Woman," "The World Keep on Turning," "Fleetwood Mac," "Like Crying," "Looking for Somebody," "I'm Coming Home to Stay," "Drifting," "One Sunny Day," "Rambling Party Blues," "Oh, Well," "I've Lost My Baby," "Sandy Mary," "Leaving Town Blues," "Watch Out," "Albatross-Black Magic Woman" and "I Need Your Love So Bad." Perhaps others will fare well enough in the recognition category to find this disc worth a listen.

Certainly, I enjoyed the short, bluesy version of "Black Magic Woman." However, one song excerpt, at least in this case, won't make a blues lover out of me. And as for being a die-hard Fleetwood Mac fan, I guess I'm only loyal through their later years. Now there's a tribute album I'd like to give a listen to.

- Rambles
written by Lynne Remick
published 25 January 2003